Long coming back for Miami? 

January, 22, 2013
1/22/13
4:13
PM ET
The fates of two NFL teams underwent a shift at the start of the 2008 draft. Needing a new franchise QB -- but not convinced that Matt Ryan could be that man -- the Miami Dolphins took LT Jake Long instead, with Ryan slipping to No. 3 overall (the Atlanta Falcons). The Dolphins took Chad Henne with the No. 57 overall pick in that draft, and neither Henne nor any of the other options prior or since have been able to take on that "franchise QB" mantle that was left without a bearer since Dan Marino retired.

Meanwhile, as Ryan was establishing his own impressive career arc in Atlanta, Long functioned at a high level at his LT position for a time following the 2008 draft, but his level of play has fallen off considerably in recent campaigns, partially due to his inability to stay on the field. With an expiring contract following the 2012 season, some believed that his time playing for Miami would conclude at the end of the campaign.